If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The OpenAI team, supported by tech maven Elon Musk, showcased an AI bot at a tournament in Seattle that decisively beat several of the world's best Dota 2 players in one-on-one matches. On the OpenAI blog, developers boasted that the bot had previously conquered the top 1v1 player in the world and the top overall player in the world. On a far less grander scale, the OpenAI algorithm for Dota 2 was developed by playing many games against itself, also known as "learned bot behavior," and then utilizing techniques that could take human players years to master. The bot then plays against itself for thousands of matches, developing strategies and gaining insight as it goes.
The Elon Musk-backed OpenAI team has developed a machine learning system that has beaten "many" of the best pro Dota 2 players in one-on-one matches, including star player Dendi during a live demonstration at The International. The result is an AI that not only has the fundamentals nailed down, but understands the nuances that take human players a long time to master. And it doesn't take too long to learn, either; OpenAI's creation can beat regular Dota 2 bots after an hour of learning, and beat the best humans after just two weeks. One-on-one matches are far less complex than standard five-on-five matches, and it's notable that the machine learning system doesn't use the full range of tactics you see from human rivals.
The result is an AI that not only has the fundamentals nailed down, but understands the nuances that take human players a long time to master. And it doesn't take too long to learn, either; OpenAI's creation can beat regular Dota 2 bots after an hour of learning, and beat the best humans after just two weeks. OpenAI hopes to have its bot mastering five-on-fives by next year's Invitational, though. What OpenAI has learned with Dota 2 might just translate to other fields where understanding subtleties can be crucial to success.
A year on from its victory over Go star Lee Sedol, Google DeepMind is preparing a "festival" of exhibition matches for its board game-playing AI, AlphaGo, to see how far it has evolved in the last 12 months. Headlining the event will be a one-on-one match against the current number one player of the ancient Asian game, 19-year-old Chinese professional Ke Jie. DeepMind has had its eye on this match since even before AlphaGo beat Lee. On the eve of his trip to Seoul in March 2016, the company's co-founder, Demis Hassabis, told the Guardian: "There's a young kid in China who's very, very strong, who might want to play us." As well as the one-on-one match with Jie, which will be played over the course of three games, AlphaGo will take part in two other games with slightly odder formats.